Reflections on the face of Japan: A multivariate craniofacial and odontometric perspective

C. L. Brace*, M. L. Brace, W. R. Leonard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Craniofacial variables for modern and prehistoric Japanese were subjected to multivariate analysis to test the relationships of the people of Japan with mainland Asian and Oceanic samples. The modern Japanese are tied to Koreans, Chinese, Southeast Asians, and the Yayoi rice agriculturalists who entered Japan in 300 B.C. Together they make up a Mainland‐Asia cluster of related populations. The prehistoric Jømon foragers, the original inhabitants of the Japanese archipelago, are the direct ancestors of the modern Ainu, who made a recognizable contribution to the warrior class—the Samurai—of feudal Japan. Together, they are associated with Polynesians and Micronesians in a Jømon‐Pacific cluster of related populations. Jømon‐to‐Ainu tooth size reduction proceeded at the same rate as that observable in the post‐Pleistocene elsewhere in the Old World.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-113
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989


  • Ainu
  • Asia
  • Craniofacial form
  • Dentition
  • Jomon
  • Oceania
  • Yayoi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology


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